We at Stock Streetwear aim to create a culture of people who are passionate about trading and want to incorporate their love of trading with their personal style. Let’s get into the new interview of our series, The Fabric of Traders, in which we catch up with your favorite traders to talk trading and fashion.

Our new interview is with Damaris Avila, better known as @damaristrades on Instagram. Damaris is an options trader, mentor, and content creator with an Instagram following of over 35K. We were able to link up with Damaris and talk about her exposure to the world of day trading as a teenager, her perspective on mentorship, and her favorite travel destination. You won’t want to miss this one!

Damaris Avila Damaristrades

Hello Damaris, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?

My journey all started during my teenage years, I became an entrepreneur at heart, exploring every avenue the digital world offered. From selling custom t-shirts to flipping physical products through Amazon FBA and dropshipping, each business venture was a new lesson, a mix of triumphs and failures that shaped my understanding of the online business landscape. But my life wasn't just about online business... I had a real passion for helping others, which led me to become a Nursing Assistant. The job was demanding, both physically and emotionally. I cherished the opportunity to care for others, but each exhausting shift left me feeling like I had more to offer, a potential that was yet to be fulfilled. In the midst of these experiences, I had a dream – a dream to become a doctor. This ambition drove me to the University of Central Florida, where I pursued a bachelor's degree in pre-medicine. The desire to excel, to push beyond the ordinary, was ingrained in me. Yet, even as I was preparing for a career in healthcare, I continued my quest for the perfect side hustle, a venture that would grant me the freedom and satisfaction I yearned for.

And then, everything changed. I discovered the world of trading. It was as if all those hours in front of the screen, all the lessons learned from my online ventures, were preparing me for this moment. I dove headfirst into trading, immersing myself in charts, strategies, and every trading book I could get my hands on. It was a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but with each setback, I only grew stronger and more determined. Balancing life as a trader and a nursing assistant was not easy. It required discipline, dedication, and a relentless drive to succeed. But I persevered, and over time, trading went from being a side hustle to a full-time passion. It gave me the freedom I had always craved, allowing me to break free from the conventional path and live life on my own terms.

Today, I look back on my journey with pride and gratitude. From a curious girl with a computer to a determined trader navigating the markets, every step, every challenge, has led me to where I am now. And the best part? My adventure is just beginning. To all of you on your unique journeys: sometimes it's the seemingly simple things that lead us to our destiny. Embrace your journey, cherish every step, and remember: your path is uniquely yours, and every moment is a stepping stone towards your purpose.

What would you say was the most helpful lesson you learned as a trader? Reflecting on this experience, would you go through this lesson again?

When I turned 18, all I had to my name was $600 I got as a gift for my birthday. As I ventured into trading, that money wasn't just currency; it was a symbol of my dreams and fears. The thought of losing it all was daunting, and initially, I hesitated to make any trades. I was standing at a crossroads, caught between the safety of inaction and the unpredictable risk of the stock market. Up until that point, my life was a series of safe choices. But then during a life-changing conversation with a mentor, my perspective shifted. He explained that “risk” was not a looming threat but a gateway to opportunity. That conversation was the catalyst that reframed my entire outlook on life and trading. He helped me in realizing that the risk I intended to take wasn't really a risk. I had to choose between accepting a dead-end job and opening myself up to pursue bigger opportunities. "What if?" – those two words haunted me. I couldn't bear the thought of a life filled with regret over unexplored possibilities. Especially when you're under 35, stepping away from a conventional path isn't really a risk – it's an opportunity. An opportunity to mold a life not defined by 'what is' but inspired by 'what could be'.

As a Nursing Assistant making $13 an hour, the financial stakes felt monumental. The sting of losses, the equivalent of a day's wage disappearing in minutes, tested my resilience. There were days I cried over losses, feeling the weight of my hard-earned money slip through my fingers. Yet, it was my mentor's wisdom that anchored me – the realization that being young with limited financial burdens wasn't a disadvantage, but a rare opportunity to take calculated risks. The true lesson was about risk management, understanding that trading isn't just about gains or losses on a single trade, but about the bigger picture. If your strategy ensures your average wins are significantly higher than your losses, and your win rate stays above 33%, the math is in your favor. The real risk isn't in taking a trade; it's in letting fear immobilize you. It's in staying cocooned in your comfort zone, never daring to step out.

That epiphany was transformative. I realized the biggest gamble was not in trading, but in hesitating to start trading. So, I took the leap of faith. Today, I stand financially independent, a globetrotter exploring the world, living a life not of 'what ifs' but of 'what is'. To anyone out there questioning to dive into a bigger opportunity, let me say this: NOW is your time. Your dream life isn't just a fantasy; it's a possibility waiting on the other side of action. Embrace the unknown, accept the risk, and watch as your life unfolds into something truly remarkable.

How important do you think the role of mentorship in trading is? Did you have a mentor when you were learning to trade?

The start of my journey into options trading was sparked by my best friend’s dad. My best friend's dad has been an independent full-time options trader, with experience in the industry, for over 15 years. Through his mentorship, I was given more than lessons on the mechanics of options trading; I was offered a glimpse into the lifestyle that comes with being a successful trader. Our countless conversations, insightful discussions, and hands-on guidance were instrumental in shaping my understanding and passion for the markets. This experience taught me the irreplaceable value of mentorship. It wasn't just about learning how to trade; it was about the wisdom, the encouragement, and the vision that my mentor imparted to me. It opened me up to a path I might never have found on my own.

Inspired by how my mentorship transformed my life, I've made it my mission to extend the same opportunities to others venturing into the world of options trading. It's about paying it forward, about passing on the torch of knowledge and empowering others to navigate the markets with confidence. Mentorship, to me, is the cornerstone of success. Having someone to guide you, to share their experiences, and to offer insights is invaluable. It's a belief I hold so dearly that I've not only received mentorship but continue to seek it out, investing thousands of dollars into learning from the best. And every penny has been worth it. The return on investment from mentorship isn't just measured in dollars; it's measured in the growth, the understanding, and the relationships built. And that, to me, is priceless. 

Damaris Avila Damaristrades travel

Your followers are familiar with your love of travel. For those readers that are not familiar with you, what is your favorite place to travel?

As someone who loves to travel, I've filled my passport with stamps from new countries every few months. I'm always excited to learn about different cultures, try out new activities, taste different foods, and simply soak in the newness of each destination.

In January, I took a trip through a few countries in Europe. I explored the churches of Barcelona, wandered through the historic wonders of Rome, and relaxed on the sunny beaches of Faro in Portugal. Of all these beautiful spots, Italy stood out the most. As someone who loves Italian cuisine, eating my way through Italy was a dream come true. The authentic flavors were a real treat, and shopping from local Italian designers added to the charm.

While Italy holds a special place in my heart, my favorite places to visit are always the ones I've never seen before. There's something incredibly exciting about stepping into a new place and experiencing its unique culture for the first time.

If you had to pick one piece of clothing that needs to look fresh, what would it be?

For me, every outfit begins with picking the top for the day. That's where my closet really shines, packed with hundreds of tops in bright colors and fun patterns. While I tend to stick with staple pieces for the rest of my outfit, tops are where I really love to mix things up and add a splash of color or a unique touch. It's all about finding that balance between the eye-catching tops and reliable basics that allow me to mix & match.

How would you describe your personal fashion style? Do you believe your style reflects your identity as a trader?

In the world of finance, where suits and formal wear are the norms, my personal fashion style is more laid back. I've never been one to conform to the traditional business casual attire with blazers and stiff collars. Instead, my wardrobe reflects my beachside lifestyle. Living in the tropical paradise of San Juan, Puerto Rico has deeply influenced my fashion choices. Shorts and a crop top are usual attire.

My style choice is a symbol of the autonomy and flexibility that come with being a trader and being my own boss. Whether I'm analyzing the markets or mentoring my students about trading, I stay true to my personal style. I believe that authenticity is key, and changing who I am to fit into a conventional mold is not an option for me. My style is not just about the clothes I wear; it's about embodying the freedom and independence that trading offers. It's about living my truth, both in the markets and in life. My fashion choices, much like my trading decisions, are a declaration that I won't be confined by traditional expectations. It's a daily reminder that in trading, as in life, the most valuable asset we have is our unique selves.

Damaris Avila Damaristrades

For all the future traders aiming to walk the same path as you, do you have any words of wisdom or advice to offer them?

For anyone striving to become a trader, my straightforward advice is to prioritize learning and truly understand the markets. Many people try to find shortcuts to success in trading by joining signal or alert groups, hoping for quick wins. However, real success in trading comes from a deep understanding of the market and knowing why you're making each trade.

In my own trading journey, I never relied on signals or alerts from others. Instead, I chose to invest in my education, learning the reasons behind each trading decision and focusing on risk management. It's essential to remember that trading involves both the trades you make and the ones you don't. Accept your losses as valuable lessons. I recommend keeping a detailed journal of all your trades. This journal shouldn’t just be used as a record; it truly is the most valuable tool that a trader has to reflect and improve. Regularly go through your trading journal, analyzing both your successful and unsuccessful trades. This practice has helped me develop strategies to minimize losses, which proved to be more helpful than any book or YouTube video. 

To future traders, I'd say: start with a commitment to learn and constantly improve your skills. Make evidence based decisions, manage your risk wisely, and always take time to reflect on your past trades. This approach won't just make you a person who takes trades but, it'll make you a master of your craft.

Stay connected and follow Damaris on all social media platforms for her exclusive content.
Instagram: @damaristrades
X: @damaristrades

The real risk isn't in taking a trade; it's in letting fear immobilize you.